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Trading on mainland China’s stock markets was suspended 30 minutes into Thursday’s trading session amid another sharp sell-off similar to one recorded on the first day of business of 2016.
Like on Monday, the market volatility affected stock indices around the world and also hit entertainment industry stocks in China and beyond.
Investors have expressed increased concern about the outlook for the world’s second-largest economy. U.S. stock futures trended down before the start of Thursday’s trading session, signaling stocks would fall.
In China, the benchmark Shanghai Composite was down 7.3 percent before trading was suspended. China last year introduced an automatic circuit-breaker system to limit market volatility. On Monday, trading was frozen temporarily before it resumed, but shares continued to slide, prompting the system to shut down trading early for the day.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index closed down 3.1 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo fell 2.3 percent, and the broad-based pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index was down more than 3 percent midday.
Shares in many of China’s leading entertainment companies were again hit on Thursday. Shares of Wanda Cinema Line, China’s largest movie theater chain, were down 9.0 percent when trading was stopped, film studio Huayi Brothers was down 10.0 percent and Enlight Media also lost 10.0 percent of its market value.
China’s leading tech companies, which have emerged as aggressive players in the entertainment space over the past few years, also slipped on the Hong Kong exchange. Tencent Holdings fell 4.0 percent, while Alibaba Group closed down 6.1 percent, while Imax China ended the day down 13.9 percent.
Meanwhile, in Tokyo, Sony Corp. shares dropped 3.5 percent on Thursday.
In the U.K., the stock of British broadcaster ITV was down 2.2 percent as of midday, while shares of pan-European pay TV giant Sky lost 2.4 percent and German TV giant ProSiebenSat.1 lost 2.4 percent of its value.
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